Grand Island Casino and State Fair coexist for first time

Local4 News at 6
Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 10:40 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2023 at 10:42 AM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - This year will mark the first time ever that the Nebraska State Fair and the Grand Island Casino Resort must coexist at Fonner Park.

Fonner Park CEO Chris Kotulak said they are committed to making parking work for both groups.

“We’ve always found a way to deal with it,” Kotulak said. “We’ll continue to do that. The north parking lot, it comes off of Fonner Park Road, will be the way to access Finish Line Lounge and, of course, the Grand Island Casino Resort.”

Kotulak continued to say that Fonner Park has asked the state fair only for as much room as they need to keep daily activity going. Grand Island Casino Resort is also doing its part to help with the volume of guests.

General manager Vince Fiala said additional staff will be hired. He also anticipates this being a win-win scenario for the casino and state fair.

He said the fair attracts visitors from across the country and for some attendees it might be the first chance to view the casino.

Kotulak said seeing how different crowds coexist will answer a lot of questions. He stated the casino could be a place for people to get out of the heat.

Fiala said that there will be hundreds of parking spots, including handicap spots reserved for casino guests, but it will be a challenge. However, he sees it working out for everyone, and the Grand Island Casino Resort will provide another entertainment option at the fair.

The Nebraska State Fair runs from Aug. 25 to Sept. 4 this year.